Why Do I Need To Know About Myofunctional Therapy?

Why Do I Need To Know About Myofunctional Therapy?

Mar 01, 2023

Over time, you can develop bad oral habits that you might not even know are wrong. And if you do, you’re already used to the habits that may be difficult to change. These issues can negatively affect your oral and overall well-being if not treated. For instance, improper chewing can gradually cause you to develop overbites or misalignments.

When you visit your dentist for improper oral habits like inadequate chewing or swallowing patterns, they can recommend Myofunctional therapy. Like most people, you might have heard this term, but you may need to learn what it is and what it looks like to achieve. This article explains myofunctional therapy, its goals, applications, and much more.

What is Myofunctional Therapy?

Myofunctional therapy is a technique focused on re-training the muscles of your oral and facial systems like the face, tongue, neck, and mouth. The therapy corrects orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD).

This disorder is associated with problems like difficulty chewing, breathing, and breastfeeding. It can also contribute to speech impediments or hindered speech impediments and negative oral habits like tongue thrust and thumb sucking.

How the Myofunctional Therapy Works

The therapy consists of a series of exercises, both physical and breathing exercises. The right exercises for you will depend on your unique condition and symptoms. The good news is that the exercises are simple, minimally painful, and non-invasive.

The exercises target the muscles of the orofacial system and tongue and correct any orofacial disorders and negative oral habits. It’s also effective for other serious oral health problems, such as obstructive sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint disorders. The therapy restrains your orofacial muscles from resting properly, thus improving the positioning of your tongue and jaw.

In cases of tongue-tie or lip-tie, your dentist or doctor can recommend Myofunctional therapy after the frenectomy surgery. The therapies help improve the range of motions in the tongue or lip to achieve normal function.

Another key goal of myofunctional therapy is to train your mouth to rest naturally, also known as optimal oral resting posture. When not doing anything (like eating, swallowing, or speaking), your lips should be closed, your teeth closed (without touching), and your tongue should be resting with its tip touching the roof of the mouth.

This optimal oral resting position keeps your mouth comfortable and offers several benefits. For instance, it allows you to breathe comfortably through the nose and prevents mouth breathing. Nose breathing is best for the optimal flow of oxygen throughout your body. On the other hand, bad mouth resting can cause discomfort, mouth breathing, overbites, and other oral problems.

Should you get myofunctional therapy before or after orthodontics?

If you have both improper oral and orthodontic problems, you might wonder what treatment should come first: myofunctional therapy or orthodontic treatments. Your dentist will establish the sequence of your treatment plan based on factors like the severity of your orthodontic problems and the presence of orofacial myofunctional disorders.

In many cases, myofunctional therapy works in conjunction with orthodontic treatments. It ensures optimal oral function, aesthetics, and health at the end of the treatments.

Combining both treatments also limits the risk of orthodontic relapse (your teeth returning to their initial positions). Straightening teeth may only be worthwhile if you deal with bad habits about chewing, breathing, or swallowing. However, some myofunctional therapies are performed after orthodontic treatments.

Do you Need Myofunctional Therapy?

In most cases, your dentist notices your need for myofunctional therapy. Children with speech disorders or impediments often work with a myofunctional therapist to improve their mouth and facial movements to prevent bite problems.

In adults, dentists often diagnose myofunctional orofacial disorders during routine dental checkups. For instance, they can examine how you rest your tongue. With your mouth closed, the tongue should rest on the roof of the mouth, behind your teeth. If your tongue rests on the bottom of the mouth, you might have a myofunctional problem. You might need myofunctional therapy to re-train the tongue to rest correctly.

Your dentist can also examine how you chew or swallow. Your tongue should hit the mouth roof when swallowing. Swallowing with the tongue on the sides is wrong and can cause tissue damage and other oral problems.

Learn more about Myofunctional Therapy in Rifle, CO

Do you have more questions about myofunctional therapy, or do you think you have improper oral habits? Visit our dental clinic or contact Rifle Dental Care to book your appointment today.

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